Home Gardens, Drought Hardy Plants Big Sellers At Nurseries

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 20, 2009

What Christmas is to the retail industry, spring is to the nursery business. 

“Yes definitely. This is our prime time.” 

Audrey Chrisco works at a small, neighborhood nursery in East Sacramento called Talini’s Garden Center. She helps customers pick out plants for their yards. Chrisco says business is brisk this spring.   

“It’s actually been quite busy. A lot of people want edibles for their yards. You know, everybody wants a nice looking landscape but they want to incorporate fruit trees and berries and vegetables within their landscape.” 

It’s not a coincidence that a lot of her customers are choosing edibles. Chrisco thinks the down economy has a lot to do with it. 

“They want safe food to eat but they also want to be able to go in their backyard and be able to make a salad or pick fruit.” 

And that’s exactly what customer Cynthia Winn has in mind. She’s pulling a Red Ryder wagon full of tomato plants and greens. 

“Well, I’m just getting some shady lady tomatoes and I got some char just because it’s just so beautiful and I love the color and I’m going over to look at water plants right now.” 

She’ll put those water plants in a new fountain she had installed in the backyard of her Elmhurst neighborhood home. Winn says she picked a fountain that recycles its own water. 

“I didn’t want something that was going to be excessive in my water use. Eventually we’re going to go on a water meter and I would like to be prepared for that.” 

Audrey Chrisco says more and more of her customers are asking about drought tolerant plants. Not only will she point them to native plants…but also ones from Australia which has a similar climate to Sacramento. She picks up a small, fragrant green shrub with little white star-like flowers. 

“This one is an Australian shrub and the foliage itself has a pineapple smell to it somewhat. But it will get covered with these little white flowers and it’s a pretty tough little thing.” 

Chrisco says she expects to sell a lot of these hardy shrubs this spring – along with tomato plants and squash as edible gardens continue to gain in popularity during tough economic times.